The Sweet Sound of a Million Microsoft Haters Heads Exploding

There was a time when you might not exclaim loudly that you are a Microsoft developer.

In light of the years gone by of DOJ hearings and reports of monopolistic practices - Microsoft hasn't always had the best name in the industry. But lately that stance has changed a lot...

Now you could point to people like Robert Scoble who made great strides in opening the doors to Microsoft.  His work gave customers and developers a chance to get closer to the people to make Microsoft's products - but there still remained a stigma.

These days Microsoft is turning a huge corner.

Take a quick glance at what people at Microsoft are doing and you might be surprised. The ASP.NET team is busy implementing the MVC framework that makes it possible for developers to use alternate rendering engines other than stock ASP.NET MVC engine. Microsoft works intimately with the Web Standards Project to make a standards-based browser and Silverlight works on a Mac for crying out loud!

Now it's a time for openness... 

Today Microsoft has announced that:

"starting today Microsoft will openly publish on MSDN over 30,000 pages of documentation for Windows client and server protocols that were previously available only under a trade secret license"

and

will provide access to patented protocols at "low royalty rates"

and - get this - they even went so far as to bench the lawyers:

"Microsoft is providing a covenant not to sue open source developers for development or non-commercial distribution of implementations of these protocols"

To sum it all up the goals of the effort are to:

  1. Ensuring open connections
  2. Promoting data portability
  3. Enhancing support for industry standards
  4. Fostering more open engagement with customers and the industry, including open source communities

Sure a lot of people will go with the default stance of "they must have something else up their sleeve", but when its your goal to open up your software, make it more affordable, unlock user's data and leave developers alone - what's left?

 

(Hat-tip Jesse Chadwick

kick it on DotNetKicks.com

Published Thursday, February 21, 2008 10:37 AM by craigshoemaker
Filed under:

Comments

# re: The Sweet Sound of a Million Microsoft Haters Heads Exploding

Thursday, February 21, 2008 3:17 PM by Mark Wisecarver

Ooh Rah! Viva Msft!

# re: The Sweet Sound of a Million Microsoft Haters Heads Exploding

Thursday, February 21, 2008 3:52 PM by Denny Ferrassoli

Thanks for posting this! I've noticed that MS has been opening up a lot lately. They've also really been listening to developers, even going as far as hiring .NET community bloggers. I really think MS has started in the right direction this time. Thank you MS!

# re: The Sweet Sound of a Million Microsoft Haters Heads Exploding

Thursday, February 21, 2008 4:32 PM by Al Pascual

Scoble is not that kind to microsoft after he left, in my modest opinion.

# re: The Sweet Sound of a Million Microsoft Haters Heads Exploding

Thursday, February 21, 2008 4:35 PM by Chris Pietschmann

Yes, the changes Microsoft are implementing would be radical compared to 10 years or more ago, but it's really not that radical today. In the current state of the industry, people expect the use of standards and the freedoms of choice. It's a very different industry now. Microsoft is only doing what it takes to keep the company moving forward and make more money to impress their stock holders. In my opinion, it's still the same Microsoft; just a radically different industry than ever before.

# re: The Sweet Sound of a Million Microsoft Haters Heads Exploding

Thursday, February 21, 2008 4:40 PM by a

I agree that MS has been opening up more lately, but this last instance is mainly because of the EU putting pressure on them; had the US administration done their job we could have had this a long time ago.

# re: The Sweet Sound of a Million Microsoft Haters Heads Exploding

Thursday, February 21, 2008 4:43 PM by CompiledMonkey

Very weak points.  It will be nice to see a standards compliant browser out of the box.  One that doesn't require developers to turn on it's standards mode as we'll have with IE8.  I guess we can hope IE9 brings this a step closer to reality.

# re: The Sweet Sound of a Million Microsoft Haters Heads Exploding

Thursday, February 21, 2008 5:17 PM by Mark Hildreth

' Sure a lot of people will go with the default stance of "they must have something else up their sleeve", but when its your goal to open up your software, make it more affordable, unlock user's data and leave developers alone - what's left? '

Well, profits. Isn't that the only reason a company does anything?

People are moving away from Microsoft technology for a few reasons, but I think that the biggies have to due with the fact that interoperability and standards aren't just buzz words for open source fanatics anymore. There are a ton of technologies that are coming together, and if someone can't use something because there's no way to connect it with Microsoft products, then they might just not use Microsoft.

As far as I'm concerned, I could care less if the motives behind this new venture are profit, fallout of anti-trust pressure, free love, or world domination. The more that I can do with the Microsoft stack, the better off I am, and the less likely I'm going to think of switching to something else down the line that gives me more options.

# re: The Sweet Sound of a Million Microsoft Haters Heads Exploding

Friday, February 22, 2008 3:52 AM by FransBouma

They have to do this, as the EU has forced them to do this by a ruling and a HUGE fine, and a threat to further investigations.

If you think MS does this because it loves humanity, developers and wants to be loved by everybody, you're very naive. It's a business and has 1 sole target: make money. If they have to do things, like opening up their docs, to avoid an even bigger fine, they'll do so, it's simple math.

This has nothing to do with hating MS or loving MS. Besides, what's there to hate or love? It's a business like there are so many..

# re: The Sweet Sound of a Million Microsoft Haters Heads Exploding

Friday, February 22, 2008 5:34 AM by andrew myhre

I love them for .Net and Visual Studio, nothing more. This 'new attitude' has been spearheaded by a single team and it's not honest to credit the rest of the company with the efforts of a few.

# re: The Sweet Sound of a Million Microsoft Haters Heads Exploding

Friday, February 22, 2008 9:35 AM by craigshoemaker

I think some of you are missing my point - but that's my fault because I'm the one who chose the sensational headline ;)

My point is that the change is happening and I am glad to see it. Does that make me so naive?

My comment in the last paragraph about MS having "something else up their sleeve" isn't about whether or not they are doing it for the profits (they are - just as all public companies are). Nor was I saying that what they are doing isn't from governmental pressure around the world (this is obvious and I even link to the proof). What they are doing is making strides in positive ways... so let's recognize the effort. I just don't want to follow the "cool kids" who berate MS for their every move simply because its Microsoft.

I think Mark Hildreth said it best:

"As far as I'm concerned, I could care less if the motives behind this new venture are profit, fallout of anti-trust pressure, free love, or world domination. The more that I can do with the Microsoft stack, the better off I am, and the less likely I'm going to think of switching to something else down the line that gives me more options."

More options - greater accessibility to data - better integration - these are the sounds developers love to hear.

Also...

@CompiledMonkey: Having a default of full standards support out-of-the-box in IE8 is easier said than done. What we need to realize is that the web is aging and not all developers share the passion for standards as you and I do. And yes, MS made some mistakes implementing standards in the past.

I recorded an interview yesterday with Chris Wilson Platform Architect of IE yesterday. It will come out in a couple of weeks. I hope you have a chance to listen to it and hear what Chris has to say.

# re: The Sweet Sound of a Million Microsoft Haters Heads Exploding

Friday, February 22, 2008 2:00 PM by Mark Gordon

Several weeks ago the EU just filed another lawsuit against Microsoft which has brought on this new change of heart. Don't fool yourself for a moment Microsoft's actions have NOTHING to do with developers or helping their user community (VB and VFP programmers will attest to that) this amounts to another smoke and mirror attempt by Microsoft to assist with their current EU headache.

The USA need to join the EU in the lawsuit and break this monoply up once and for all. Maybe then developers and user will be treated fairly and get the service and products we deserve.

# re: The Sweet Sound of a Million Microsoft Haters Heads Exploding

Saturday, February 23, 2008 2:21 PM by zelrik

I ll always be a M$-hater no matter what they say. Right now they are just adapting to the GPL to kill it better.

# re: The Sweet Sound of a Million Microsoft Haters Heads Exploding

Wednesday, February 27, 2008 4:51 AM by Rahul

interesting- though the move has started , MS still needs to clean up the act further..

# re: The Sweet Sound of a Million Microsoft Haters Heads Exploding

Friday, March 28, 2008 11:17 AM by Will S.

Quoting zelrik " ll always be a M$-hater no matter what they say. Right now they are just adapting to the GPL to kill it better."

Freaking ROFL.

The GPL is killing itself...

# re: The Sweet Sound of a Million Microsoft Haters Heads Exploding

Monday, May 12, 2008 9:42 AM by TooManyBeansForLunch

Got a news flash for all the MS-hating fan boys out there:

Fining foreign companies is all the EU does.

Want a list of all the US corporate victims of EUSSR "regulations"? RTFM.

It's called "protectionism" and "trade tariffs." They're pathetically impotent and unpopular amongst their own and probably have another 10-15 years left - max.